Who knew that the world’s largest gelato exhibition is taking place right now in Rimini, Italy? It’s not a very well kept secret with over 144,000 visitors attending SIGEP in 2013 with more expected this year. This year’s edition is taking place from January 18th to 22nd at Rimini Fiera and entitled the ‘SIGEP International Exhibition of Artisan Gelato, Confectionary and Bakery Production’. What can possibly be so special that 150,000 visitors flock to the summer beach destination of Rimini in the middle of winter? The gelato, chocolate, and coffee at the exhibition are simply THAT good.
Gelato is the main attraction but it’s not to be outdone by the massive displays for chocolate and coffee. The expansive exhibition is spread out across 12 connected buildings which are about the size of a hockey arena.
As visitors move through the convention halls, they are encouraged to sample the freshly made artisanal gelato, chocolate, and coffee in addition to being privy to entrepreneurs displaying their creative ideas in action in attempts at making their products available to new markets. Equipment providers also make a strong showing at the trade show, displaying a diverse array of methods to make a traditional product.
This Year’s Trends
This year there appears to be a trend toward mobile gelato service. Whether it be with the Mini Cooper-sized ‘Piaggio’ trucks that fold out into gelato stands bicycles with built in classic gelato serving stations, it appears that gelato will be on the move this upcoming summer. Another trend was the movement of artisanal gelato targeting the biological or vegan demographic.
‘Olvi’ is a company that is making a vegan alternative to traditional gelato by making it out of olive oil. No doubt the taste is not the same but it is an interesting concept that opens gelato to a new market of consumers. Other interesting notes from the conference include that fact that Italians consumed an average of 9.7 kilograms of gelato per person in 2013 with the percentage of artisanal consumer consistently increasing over the past 5 years.
For the latest trends relating to gelato, coffee and chocolate, there is no better place than the SIGEP exhibition in Rimini, Italy.